By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The expansive lawn of Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland is the place to be on Memorial Day.

Balloon tricks create instant faces, while children’s faces are painted red, white and blue. Yes, there’s a lot of fun, food and frolic. But the kids and their parents never get too far away from the real reason they’re there.

Merchant Marine veteran Howard Pfeifer was aboard a creaky old ship during the D-Day invasion of World War II.

“We ran this ship aground purposely to use as a dock,” he recalls.

Young Civil War re-enactors, with the USCT Drum Corps, are a reminder of the conflict that is still the deadliest war in American history.

Soldiers & Sailors Hall Officials on PTL —

Museum curator Michael Kraus, in the guise of a Civil War captain, says it’s important to re-engage children’s interest in our history.

“What did these men in the service of our country go through? They’re just like us. They’re like our dads, our uncles, our moms, our aunts. What did they go through? What was it like? What did they have to do in order that we could have this country? But on a personal level, so it’s interesting. Not dates and places and generals and tactics, but people,” he said.

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